Lexington, KY — Caroline Roffman has repeatedly proven in the show ring that she has a true gift for dressage, and now she has successfully passed on her gift to other dressage competitors. At the GAIG/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 2 Dressage Championships and the Kentucky Dressage Association (KDA) Fall Classic this October, two riders whom Roffman has worked with - Rachael Hicks and Susan Posner - dominated competition and earned Championship titles. Riders of all levels descended on the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky on October 9-12, 2014, to compete for first place in the GAIG/United States Dressage Federation Region 2 Dressage Championships and the Kentucky Dressage Association Fall Classic.
Roffman warmed up Susan Posner’s horse Tympani on Friday October 10 before Posner and Tympani entered the show ring. Posner, who has been extremely successful in dressage in both Germany and the United States, earned first place in the USDF First Level Freestyle Open division with a score of 74.333 percent, scoring better than all twenty-four other competitors in the class. The talented rider also placed in the top of her class in several other divisions throughout the weekend.
Roffman’s student Rachael Hicks of Prospect, Kentucky also dominated her classes at the show. Roffman has been working with Hicks since last year. Hicks and Don Cartier, a seven-year-old stallion by Don Schufro, were named USEF Third Level Champions with a score of 73.718 percent and USEF Fourth Level Reserve Champions with a score of 73.000 percent. The skilled duo also placed first in the USEF Third Level Test 3 class with 73.462 percent.
Hicks showed her versatility in the saddle by riding two more horses to first place throughout the weekend. She and her eight-year-old Westphalian gelding Fabio Bellini (by Furst Heinrich) received the best score in a class of forty-five competitors in the FEI Prix St. Georges on Thursday October 9 with a 72.105 percent. Hicks was thrilled with Fabio’s performance, saying “I am so glad that Fabio got his chance to shine today. He works so hard and he gave me a great feeling in there. Don Cartier has the fancy gaits and is so flashy while Fabio has to work harder for it, but he's such a trier and never gives up. My 'Steady Eddie' came through.” Hicks and Fabio also earned the title of Fourth Level Champions with a score of 73.938 percent.
Hicks and her first Grand Prix horse, fifteen-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Apollo (by Gribaldi), won the FEI Grand Prix with a score of 65.600 percent. “Oh, this is such a special win for me!” exclaimed Hicks. “I've had Apollo a long time, and he's had ups and downs and injuries, and I didn't know if we'd ever get to Grand Prix. We finally were able to start the Grand Prix work this year, got our qualifying scores in May, and then I saved him for this show. Today he felt so happy and better than ever! I have been working with Caroline since April of 2014, but with the results I’ve had I wish now that I had begun working with her sooner. The biggest difference is that my horses are so happy. I have a clearer understanding of what I’m trying to achieve, and that translates into horses that are more confident, more expressive, and more willing to perform.”
Roffman was extremely proud of Hicks’s and Posner’s performances at the Championships and the Kentucky Dressage Association Fall Classic. The young trainer and competitor looks forward to further accomplishments for herself, her students, and their horses in the show ring this season.